Yazoo, the new synth-duo formed by keyboard genius Vince Clarke (ex-Depeche Mode) and the then unknown vocalist Alison Moyet, proved to be an immediate hit with the record-buying public. Debut single, the ballad-like Only You had climbed all the way to #2 in the spring of 1982. Clarke did advise that the debut wouldn’t be atypical of the band and much of the material he was writing was aimed firmly at the dance-floors of the new wave of disco nights that were sprouting up across the country in the wake of the explosion in synth-pop. He hinted that Situation, the uptempo flip side of Only You was more the direction he was keen to take.
The sophomore single proved that he was as good as his word. Don’t Go was an incredible blast of high-energy pop music that relied on the catchiest of riffs and a blistering and pleading vocal which demonstrated Moyet’s blues and soul influences.
mp3 : Yazoo – Don’t Go
At a shade just under three minutes, it has all the hallmarks of a bona fide classic pop record, which is exactly what it is.
The b-side is no less interesting for very different reasons. The interesting thing was that it was credited to Moyet alone, which was proof that this was indeed a band that relied on the talents of both its members. But was she someone who was also aiming at the dance floor?
mp3 : Yazoo – Winter Kills
Not in the slightest. Instead we got a torch song that is incredibly dark and atmospheric, thanks in no small measure to the piano playing.
The two songs highlighted a band that weren’t afraid to be bold, ambitious and different. In an era when image was all so important, this duo got on stage and reminded everyone that talent and ability was a better way to do it.
PS : Billy Bragg is leading The Smiths in the first of the ICA World Cup quarter-finals.
Voting closes on Friday at 10pm. A reminder that the songs are Levi Stubbs’ Tears and Still Ill.